Best location for a water heater. After a long day, every one of us would always want to have a hot shower. But not all of us are equipped with the right machine that can do the heating job in seconds. There are some who have the machine already but made the wrong purchase.
Water Heaters are now considered as one of the most operative machines every house could have. Who doesn’t need hot water? I bet no one, because all of us do need it! As a matter of fact 75% of US homes have Water Heaters installed.
Water heating has been a practice by many families ever since, the only difference now is brought along by technology, making it easier for a lot of homeowners to enjoy the use of hot water for everyday use without taking much of their time.
Never could be denied that there is always an advantage and disadvantage to any product, but the good thing about a water heater is that, solutions are always available for action. Just as how you worry about your water heater system bill, this might be a little surprising, but did you know that the placement of your water heaters can actually affect the amount of your usual bill? Yes! That is true and has already been proven by many.
I suppose you are already aware of the different Water Heater types. Actually, none of the different Water Heater kinds you have known are useless. Truthfully speaking, all of them are proven to be effective and a real must-have! However, there are ones that excel the most when we talk about savings. It’s always awesome to own a water heater but it’s even great if you are using a Tankless Water Heater if you want to cut down about 10-15% of your bill. However using the traditional water heater is always recommended if your target of budget is the water bill.
The Perfect Location
You might want to consider the distance of your water heater location. Just so you know, if your water heater is far from where you always need it the most, then that would start the problem. The reason behind this is that the water still needs to travel from the heating system to your faucets and showers at home and as for the usual it needs power to run, which is why the longer the water travels, the more power it uses. Compared to the other scenario, especially if you are using the tankless one (which heats water on the actual use and doesn’t store on a tank) the need for power or electricity is lesser if it is placed to the nearest location of your house.
Make sure that it is installed in a properly ventilated space, not too cold, and not too hot. It should be in a place where it is safe and secure, preferable with a roof. Keep it out of reach of children and if possible in a closed area where no one can easily get in.
The responsibility of keeping your water heater clean and well-maintained is carried out by the owner. The maintenance of the heater doesn’t take much time, as a matter of fact it only requires to be flushed twice a year. You can do it yourself or pay for a maintenance service.
Water heaters are great and convenient to have because the heated water they generate can be used not just for taking relaxing hot showers, but also for the dishwasher and washing machine. This is the very reason why many households have them and why they are considered as an indispensable household appliance. The problem with water heaters is that they are not lifetime investments. Even if you properly and regularly maintain your unit, the most years you’ll see with your unit will be 20 years, if you are lucky. This is because most water heater units usually last only 12-15 years which means they need to be replaced after that time period. Then again, if you do not regularly maintain your water heater unit, you’ll be looking at a maximum of 10 years or less.
When replacing your old water heater with a new one, you may need to think about savings. With that, you may need to think about choosing a new water heating system that will meet your daily heated water requirements, yet still be energy efficient enough to provide you with savings on your utility bills. This is why there are certain selection criteria for choosing a water heater. The criteria are: Fuel Type, Size, Energy Efficiency, and Cost.
Fuel Type – when choosing a new heater, it is very important that you consider the availability of the energy source or fuel type you will be using for the unit. This is because you wouldn’t want to choose a propane-powered unit when there are no propane fuel lines in your area. Another important aspect of carefully considering the fuel type for your water heating unit is that the energy or fuel you use in heating will have great effects on its size and energy efficiency, not to mention the annual operating cost. The list below shows the fuel types or energy sources for water heaters.
Electricity – this is the most widely available energy source to power water heaters. This type of energy source is available for storage, tankless, and heat pump water heaters.
Propane – this fuel type is available in many areas in the U.S. There are storage and tankless water heaters that use this as their fuel source.
Natural Gas – this fuel type is also available in many parts of the U.S. There are storage, tankless, and indirect water heaters that use this as their fuel source.
Solar Energy – this energy source is available almost everywhere as all you need is to have direct access to sunlight. The only problem with units that use solar energy is that the initial cost of the unit is pricey.
Fuel Oil – this is available in some parts of the U.S. and is used mostly for storage tank water heaters.
Geothermal Energy – this is available almost throughout the U.S., especially for those who use a geothermal heat pump system.
If there is more than one available type of fuel source in your area, then it would be a good idea, whether you are building a new home or simply replacing the old unit, to compare fuel cost. Once you get the most cost-effective type of fuel source for your water heating unit, then you are likely to save more money rather than choosing impulsively.
The type of unit you buy is also essential as this will also have some effects on your overall water heating cost. Two similar storage tank water heaters that use electricity, but of different make, price, insulation, and rating will likely yield different electricity consumption. This makes it equally important to choose the right type of water heating unit.
Size – having a good-sized water heater unit will be able to meet your household’s daily hot water needs without overworking it. This makes it important to get a water heater for your household that is the right size. This criterion goes whether you are getting a storage-tank water heater, a tankless water heater, or a solar water heater unit.
Storage Water Heater Size – in order to correctly estimate the size of the storage water heater you need for your household, you need to take into consideration two things – volume capacity and recovery rate. If there are two persons in a household, a 30-40 gallon will easily be able to accommodate their hot water usage. For three to four persons in a household, they may need to get a 40-50 gallon tank. For a household with more than 5 individuals, an 80-gallon tank is recommended. Recovery rate is another thing to consider in a storage-tank water heater. This is displayed as FHR (First Hour Rating). The FHR rating shows how much hot water in gallons the unit can heat per hour, starting with a full tank of heated water. FHR usually depends on tank capacity, fuel source, and size of the heating element.
Tankless Water Heater Size – these water heating units are rated based on how much they can elevate the temperature of the water on a given flow rate. This makes it very important to know the usage of your household at a given peak usage. In order to properly assess your water heating requirements, you need to list the number of taps that uses hot water at any given time. This would include the number of hot shower tap, including the dish and clothes washer taps. At peak usage, try to estimate how many of these are running simultaneously and add up their flow rate. This then would be the desired flow rate that your tankless water heater needs to heat. For example, each tap has a flow rate of 2.5 gallons per minute and running two taps simultaneously will mean you need to have a whole-house tankless water heater that can heat at least 5 gallons per minute.
Solar Water Heater Size – to get the right size for your solar water heater, you need to determine the usage of the household. This would in turn determine the total solar collector area as well as the storage volume for your system. There are contractors who use cheat sheets and computer programs to help them determine your system requirement based on your total household requirement.
Water heaters come in different shapes and sizes, from point-of-use water heaters that heat up only one faucet or one shower to industrial-sized water heaters that are capable of heating up several gallons of water instantaneously, something which is of a necessity for commercial applications such as on hotels, hospitals, and restaurants.
If you are looking for the ideal commercial water heater for your business or facility, your unit will greatly depend on the peak temperature you want to have and your output requirement. However, since many large commercial water heaters can be arranged and combined in a modular fashion, there is the question of whether or not you have the space to accommodate a number of units. While it is true that every unit of commercial water heaters can retail for several thousand dollars, it is also true that using such units can potentially slash the amount you pay on utility bills, especially if your business or facility is the type that uses huge quantities of heated water.
When it comes to commercial water heaters, you as a customer need to be aware that installing them is not an easy feat. It may not be much of a problem for you to purchase them despite their hefty price. However, it will become a problem when it comes time to install them. This is why it is very important to choose a professional installation company wisely. One that knows what they are doing as these systems are often very complex and that their installation is equally as complex. Choosing qualified professionals will help to ensure that your water heating system will run smoothly and hassle-free.
Commercial water heaters on almost any given commercial facility account for about 11% of their energy usage on average, while a hospital facility may even use up to 40% just for heating water. If you are able to evaluate the heating requirements of your business or facility and be able to consider your amount of need, its temperature and flow rate, you will be able to effectively choose a unit, or series of units, that can account to the improvement of energy efficiency, thereby allowing you to save substantially on utility bills.
There are different technological options when it comes to choosing commercial water heaters. They are available in instantaneous, storage, indirect, heat pump, and tankless coil models. Energy use comprises of either gas or electric.
There are some commercial facilities that require complex distribution schemes to deliver heated water throughout their facility through the use of pumps and timers. Circulating pumps are able to move heated water on facilities, such as hospitals and hotels, so that every user will have access to heated water. Facilities with huge and constant heating needs may need to use instantaneous water heaters to be able to supply hot water each time, while facilities with peak demands only at specific times may opt for storage water heaters to limit their energy consumption.
Indirect water heaters are also hot water storage tanks that are not lit. Since it is an external source that heats these devices, their efficiency can be determined by how well their storage tank is insulated. Having a very low heat loss will be the most efficient.
Heat-pump water heaters are the perfect options for electrical applications and are rated using the coefficient performance. Heat pumps have a coefficient performance of around 1.5 to 3.5 with the higher value being better in energy performance.
Oil or Gas-fired commercial water heaters are rated via thermal efficiency and stated as a percentage. Having a higher thermal efficiency means they are more energy-efficient. Oil or gas-fired units will typically have a thermal efficiency of around 80%, but this can reach up to 95% depending on the unit.
Electric water heaters are very thermally efficient and hardly vary from 98%. Despite being the most efficient with it comes to thermal efficiency, gas or oil-fired water heating units still cost less to operate as fuel prices are still much lower when compared to the price of electricity.
Even with the different types of commercial water heating systems, the greatest energy efficiency still lies on the entire design of the water heating facility and not just with the water heating unit itself. A bigger facility may require pumps, valves, and other controls to pump hot water throughout their building facility. Facilities that require constant hot water will benefit from having instantaneous water heaters, while facilities with large peak loads will benefit from having a large storage system. If a facility has a vast amount of wasted heat coming from large refrigeration units and condensers, they may actually benefit from this wasted heat source using an indirect system.
If you want to use oil or a gas-fired water heating system, then a more efficient option would be to use a gas-condensing water heater. This water heating technology is 95% or more efficient as the fuel nearly transfers all of its heat into the water. The use of this type of technology will yield energy savings of up to 20%. However, if oil or gas is unavailable, you may opt for heat-pump water heaters. Heat pumps only use half the energy required by electric water heaters and are actually beneficial in some applications.
When purchasing commercial water heaters, aside from considering their efficiency, installation, and overall cost, you also need to consider how well your unit will hold in time. If you cannot consider this properly, then there is a possibility that your unit will wear out sooner, further costing you money in replacing it.
Commercial water heating systems are very complex and understanding their process, system, and functionality is best left to the professionals who will also be left with the task of designing their application. If you are considering a commercial water heater, the best thing to do is to ask a professional for advice and suggestions, not just with the water heater, but with the entire application of the water heating system in your facility.
All of us live on this planet whose resources are limited and dwindling down. Many of our energy demands are unlimited and we are responsible for the dwindling down of Earth’s natural resources. This is why to become more economically friendly, manufacturers are looking into making more economical water heaters. They not just help lower the amount of energy being used, but they also help lower our utility bills. However, buying the most economic water heater will not do you any good if you do not take into consideration some relevant factors during their installation.
Economical water heaters have been divided into four different categories and their division involves the type of energy they use to heat water. These four types are: electric water heaters, gas water heaters, solar water heaters, and commercial water heaters.
One of the relevant factors that should be taken into consideration when installing an economical water heater is insulation. The addition of insulation on the water heater will greatly help to reduce the amount of heat being lost during standby mode. This accounts for around to 25-45 percent of reduction on heat loss, giving you savings of around 4-9 percent on your water heating cost. In fact, insulating your water heater tank is actually very simple and very inexpensive. The money you use on the material for insulation will actually pay for itself on the savings you get within one year. If you own an electric water heater, you yourself can install insulating blankets or jackets on your electric water heating tank.
These days, tankless water heaters are becoming the most popular type of economic water heater. These units are very efficient because it only heats water when it is needed. This is possible as the electric ignition only ignites when heated water is being requested and water gets heated up as it passes through copper heating coils.
Electric tankless water heaters are the most popular type of tankless water heating systems. Many consider them as the next generation of water heaters and represent future technology. The reason why electric tankless water heating systems are becoming very popular is that they have several key advantages as compared to traditional water heating. The first would be the absence of a storage tank. This allows homeowners to use that space for more important things. The second would be the unlimited supply of heater water. This is possible because water is being heated as it is being needed. The third reason is they are very economical as water is only heated as it is being needed.
Natural gas water heaters are water heating systems that have been designed with energy efficiency in mind. The best thing about natural gas water heaters is that they are able to provide a substantial amount of savings on utility bills. According to statistics, water heating constitutes a large part of the energy consumption in one’s home. The use of a natural gas water heater will reduce the cost of utility bills significantly. This is because the rates for natural gas are much lower and that gas is also able to heat water much faster as compared to electric units. Manufacturers of natural gas water heaters make them in a range of sizes and have tanks that range from 20 to 100 gallons. There are also tankless versions of natural gas water heaters.
To date, solar water heaters are the greenest and most cost-effective way of generating heated water for your home. They can be used regardless of the size of your home as long as the location of your home has a clear view of the sun. The best part about this type of water heater is that the power it uses comes from the sun, which is, of course, free.
A solar water heating system is composed of solar collecting panels and storage tanks. There are basically two types of solar water heating systems – active and passive. An active heating system makes use of circulating pumps and controls, while passive heating systems don’t. Regardless of the type of solar water heating system you have, you will, without a doubt, save money using this system. Just make sure that the storage tank you have is properly insulated so as not to lose any heat.
Commercial water heating systems, on the other hand, are specifically made for buildings that have a high demand for heated water. Typical applications for commercial water heaters are large residences, apartment buildings, hospitals, restaurants, motels, hotels, industrial buildings, and many more.
If you already have an economical water heater, it is important that you maintain the unit regularly to ensure that it is always in perfect working condition. Even if you don’t notice anything unusual with your unit, regular maintenance is still necessary as this will help you find potential problems with the unit earlier on. This not only ensures that your water heating unit works more efficiently, but it will also save you a lot of money on costly future repairs as equipment failure has been prevented earlier on. The main reason why your water heating system needs to be regularly maintained is not just for preventive maintenance and that it is working efficiently, but one of the reasons involved in maintenance is so that it works like the unit is supposed to – save money. We often buy equipment not just because we like them, but because they are reliable and energy-efficient. We know that these two reasons will allow us to save money in the long run which is why even if the equipment is more expensive, we still invest in them. Ensuring that this equipment works at its optimum performance will ensure that we save money, ergo, regular maintenance is a must.
Overall, water heating systems are essential all over the world, regardless of whether you live in cold or tropical regions. If you are planning to buy a water heater, it is important that you make it a point to consider whether the unit you are buying is eco-friendly, economical and that it is also energy efficient. It is also equally important that the water heating system you are trying to buy is enough to supply your home with your heated water needs and that the unit you are planning on purchasing is well within your budget.
Energy-efficient water heater. Have you been wondering why you had a big increase in electric bill every winter season? Or are you satisfied with your warming appliances given the high electric bill?
You might want to review your home heating preferences. Do you want it for the entire room? Or just for your room? In the living room? In the kitchen? It is so having the most efficient and economical heater for your home.
There are many different heaters available in the market nowadays. It is important to know what type of heater to be used for your specific needs.
So basically, there are two types of heaters. These are the fixed heaters and the non-fixed heaters.
Fixed heaters are normally what we find in a fireplace. They are powered with coal, wood, gas, or LPG. Coal has a much higher energy density than wood. This means that they can emit more heat from a particular volume of fuel than the wood. But there are also fixed heaters such as wall panel heaters and wall pan heaters. These types of heaters are best in halls, stairwells and kitchens where there is an outside wall close by. For gas fires; open flame, radiant, glass-fronted and flueless are available. Among the four, fires with a balanced flue are more efficient because there’s no need for ventilation.
Portable electric heaters are heaters that can be picked up and moved around wherever you desire to put it. These are mainly electrical appliances. so they use electricity to function. So there are four kinds of portable electric heaters: oil-filled radiators, convector heaters, fan heaters and halogen heaters. None of these are more energy-efficient than the others. But, halogen heaters tend to cool down more quickly as they also heat up quickly. Yet, an advantage of these is it is variably small so it consumes less space just like the fan heaters. Fan heaters, though, need a little more space since it must draw in air. If there are children in your home, it is not advisable to use an oil-filled radiator. Since they can reach high temperatures, they can harm anyone touching it. Thus, it must be put to big areas away from persons.
In terms of energy consumption, portable electric heating is not as costly as the central heating system running on gas or coal.
And of course, a heating system doesn’t concentrate only on heaters. You also had to make sure that your room or space that needs heating is prepared. You must make sure that no air can pass through your walls and your doors. So you must as well add door sweeps. Also, window drapes would be very advisable to make sure that no warm air can escape through your window. It will also avoid air condensation in your window since the air between the drapes and the window is much cooler than the air inside the room. You could also use a plastic window kit but there are limitations in using this type of thing.
Water Heater Machine Parts.
Water is considered an essential need for every home. Apart from being so useful in the kitchen, hot water is no doubt important to the majority of homeowners for bathroom use, including garden and garage cleaning. Isn’t it ideal to take a warm bath after a long day? A warm bath as studies show, leads to a calm blood circulation which is very healthy and relaxing to anyone.
The regular water we usually use at home takes a journey to at least 3 pipes as part of the whole system, which is good as it keeps the water clean and safe for consumption, however, this would lead to cold flowing water at your home’s faucets and showers. In the old days, water heating has already been part of household essentials but people have their own typical way of doing it. A kettle is what they usually use for heating water, a very old style yet effective at that time. Moreover, in modern days, in which people seem to be in a rush almost every day for work or other activities, the old way of heating water could no longer be a convenient way since it can take time. Today, the very easy way to get warmer water as you wish in every second of every day is by installing a water heater to your very own home.
Water heaters are now considered an important home fixture to more than 70 percent of the overall population in the US. Water heaters can be very advantageous, however, the wrong purchase would also be very possible if you lack knowledge about the product itself. Before purchasing a water heater, the essence of knowing every parts and accessories the machine contains typically stands importantly to get the right item for you and your family’s convenience.
Water Heater Parts:
1. Water Heater Tank – This is where the water is held for distribution. Depending on its size, the tank can carry a capacity of 40 gallons to 60 gallons (equivalent to 50 to 100 PSI). It is made from high-quality metal which guarantees a safe water source.
2. Water Heater Pipe – Whenever the water heater is used, in order for the hot water to be distributed to the whole household, it takes a flow to the heat-out pipe and is then released to every individual pipes connected to your kitchen, bathrooms, garage, and garden. It is placed over the top of the machine interior.
3. Water Heater Tube – The regular pipe where the source of water flows, is connected to this tube, leading the water to the tank for heating.
4. Water Heater Valves
Shut Off – It controls the flow of water towards the water heater. It literally shuts off the flow of water, usually placed above the machine.
Pressure – It controls the heat of the machine ensuring the unit’s safety function.
Drain – Located on the utmost bottom of the machine, this valve is very useful when cleaning the heater and when moving the unit to another location.
5. Water Heater mechanism – Implies the whole function of the machine, through this, the machine is capable of heating water in a safe and convenient way.
6. Water Heater Thermostat – This device controls the level of heat. With this, you’ll be able to know the current temperature of the water inside the heater.
7. Water Heater Sacrificial anode rod – Made durable for long-lasting span usage.
THE TOP WATER HEATER ACCESSORIES
1. Water Heater Replacement Flammable Vapor Sensor
2. Threaded Dip Tube
3. Programmable Outlet Thermostat
4. Wall-Mount Water Heater Restraint Systems
5. Smart Temp Programmable Thermostat
6. Soft belt-style water heater straps support up 80-gallon water heaters
7. Water Heater Drain Valve
8. Temperature & Pressure Relief Valve Extended Shank
9. Heavy-Duty Element Removal Wrench
10. Water Heater Vent Power Kit
11. 120 Gallon Water Heater Strap
12. 7 Day Programmable Thermostat
13. EcoStat Mercury Free Mechanical Heating and Cooling Thermostat
14. Programmable Thermostat
15. Digital Thermostat
16. Standard Heating and Cooling Thermostat
17. Watts E-75 Water Heater Straps
18. Water Heater Connectors Corrugated
19. Water Heater Pan
20. Water Heater Timer
The water heater itself can be very impressive as it works entirely for your very own home, however, with the top-notch accessories, it can surprise you more, making its whole function advanced and innovative.
Supplying your machine some parts and accessories has advantages and disadvantages as well. If you were able to pick the right one, the chances of a longer time span of its operation should be expected, but if you have installed the wrong accessories, it can possibly cause breakage or damage to your machine which can affect its overall function. Be vigilant on your choices, make sure you know what your machine needs, especially its type and brand. There are tons of choices out there all you need to do is to be wise enough on making your selection whether you are buying online or on a nearby store.
Electric Timer Water Heater.
Water heaters can be very useful, but for some reason, it can give you much bigger charges, such as your monthly electric bill if you’re using the electric-powered water heater. Since the machine is made with such a disadvantage, experts understand this and made a perfect solution to it. There is an Electric Water Heater Timer, which works as an automatic device attached to the machine for use as a timer.
The Electric Water Heater Timer is made for energy saving purposes, since most of the machine use almost 220V. Just imagine using the heater every day, no doubt why you pay almost half of the added amount to your usual bill every month. Of course, the energy consumed by the machine itself depends on its time of usage.
Having a hectic schedule every day, would definitely be a hassle to keep an eye on the device all the time. For example, you have a scheduling of water heater usage, every morning/afternoon (5 am to 1 pm) and in the evening (6 pm-10 pm), therefore you have to turn off the heater whenever not in use from the specific time intended. What if you fail to do that every day, because you’re just too busy for work or school and forgot to turn it off? Then maybe you’ll just leave the machine as it is? That won’t do! It would be a great waste of money and energy. Water heater timer works best on this kind of scenario, simply because it obeys and follows automatically the on and off time-set to it, which means, there will be no more monitoring just to make sure the machine is working or not since the timer simply does the work for you.
How to Install the Timer?
1. First, identify your water heater’s power volts. Make no place for uncertainty because purchasing the timer depends on it. If your heater is 220V, then make sure you also purchase a timer that fits to a 220V water heater. (To know if it is a 220V or 120V, check on the label, usually found on the side of the machine.)
2. Prepare all the materials you need for the installation. Be sure that you bought the right cords/wires and timer, which fit your heater. Go to the nearest hardware store and ask for assistance. (220 Volt water heater – 220 Volt Timer)
3. Timers usually have a case along with when purchased. Take it out first and mount the case to the wall not so far from the machine.
4. Before making any connections, turn off the breaker first for safety purposes and to avoid electric shocks.
5. Remove the electric cord from your water heater and connect it to the timer.
6. Connect the ends of the cord you newly bought to the timer and the other end to the heater.
7. Put then the timer inside its case (mounted on the wall) and make sure it is well-screwed to the wall.
8. Set the timer and turn on the breaker once again.
The product comes with an installation and instruction manual, however, if you are not that knowledgeable with electric cords and stuffs, please let a professional electrician do it for you.
Water heater timers are truly very useful and a real energy saver. It is the greatest solution ever made by many users of such machines all over the world. Though the timer proves its effective work already, there are still additional facts and tips on how to lessen your electric charges:
1. Never turn on hot water whenever you are using cold water. Once the hot water is turned on, the cold water immediately runs through the heater which makes the machine work more and consume more energy.
2. If there are broken pipes or any leak problems, contact a plumber immediately.
3. Keep your water heaters clean. Dirty heaters will consume more energy.
4. Save water and reduce consumption. Don’t just leave a faucet or a shower on unattended.
5. It is recommended to wrap up your water heater and pipes with insulation.
6. As much as possible, turn down your thermostat.
With the help of a water heater timer and for being a responsible user, you surely will save at least 20% of your total electric bill a month. It is just wise to invest in any product if the quality you get is reasonable and of course if you are positive that you can benefit from it.
Water Heater Sizes – Which one is perfect for your family!
Half of the total number of households with water heaters might have the wrong machine. Though a lot of owners have been very happy and satisfied as to how their water heater works on their daily living, a lot still have negative feedback on how this water heater machine works. The top concerns are as follows:
1. My Water Heater doesn’t supply the right amount of hot water my family needs in one day.
2. From the time I had this water heater at home, there has been a huge amount of difference on my electric bill. Having this machine cost me a lot from the purchase, installation and now on my bill.
3. My water heater is way too small for my family’s use.
4. I’m having trouble with my water heater, since I bought the machine I always call for help to fix it.
5. How will I know that I’m buying the right water heater that can supply just enough for my family?
6. Does water heater have sizes? Which one is perfect for my needs?
Water heaters work efficiently on meeting your household needs if you have the right machine size. A properly sized water heater is what any purchaser must always consider to avoid the wrong purchase.
Tankless Water Heaters
A Tankless Water Heater System works by heating the water directly without using any storage tank. It heats up water on your actual use. Unlike any other types of heaters this water heater does not continually heat the water inside a tank.
This type of water heater is basically sized by determining the temperature and flow rate you need on your whole house including the bathroom and kitchen.
– The very first thing that you need to do is take note of the estimated hot water demand you and your family use at a particular time. Adding it then to your desired flow rate gallons per minute.
– Determining the temperature rise of your tankless water heater is done by subtracting the incoming temperature from the temperature output you want.
Solar Water Heaters
Solar Water Heaters are also known as demand-type water heater, these types of heaters are much of an energy and money saver.
The sizing of solar water heaters usually needs the total collector area to be determined as well as its storage volume.
– There are guidelines that need to be followed by contractors to get an estimated collector area by noting it down on a worksheet or in computer software perhaps.
– 50-gallon storage tank is ideal for families with 2 to 3 members. 80-gallon storage tank is great for 4 family members. For families with 6 to 8 members, the larger sized tank is the most appropriate.
Storage Water Heaters
A storage water heater is as its name appears. It uses a storage tank to maximize its heating capacity. It can provide instant hot water. These types of water heaters can be classified into two: Electric-powered and Gasoline.
Sizing up a storage water heater may need the use of first-hour rating or the number of gallons of hot water the machine can supply per hour. It may depend on the capacity of the heater itself.
– Create estimation, in one day, what time your family needs to use most hot water? Is it morning, afternoon/noon or evening? And then count in the number of people using it as well.
You might be wondering how this water heater sizing up matters? There are actually a lot of reasons why this seems to be very important, but here are some of the reasons that you should consider:
1. Having the right size of a water heater can save energy. Therefore you will no longer have to worry about your electric bill.
2. You and your family will no longer experience any shortage of hot water every day.
3. It can save you money. Yes! Buying the appropriate size of a water heater for your family can save you money, especially if you have a small family. Therefore, there is no reason for you to buy the big size water heater because there is an enough size of heater intended for you which is cheaper.
For many homeowners who would like to get the most out of their water heater units, they tend to consider getting the tankless ones nowadays because of the many advantages it can give. As the name implies, a tankless water heater does not actually have a water tank. Tankless water heaters are actually popular these days due to the fact that they do not take up too much space at home as well as it has a clever way it heats water on demand. This significantly minimizes the cost of electricity by means of not needing to heat up stored water all the time. It has been studied that if you use a tankless water heater in your home, you can reduce about 19% of the total home energy use consumed only via water heating.
Even if tankless water heaters have been around for some time in Japan, Europe, and other countries for many decades, they are surprisingly a new technology in the areas of North America. While there are those who extremely liked the idea of using tankless water heaters in homes of North America, there are others who still prefer to use the traditional tank-type water heaters.
If you feel like you are not thoroughly satisfied with your tankless water heater unit, take a look at these commonly reported issues and the possible solutions to each of them:
1. Be wise in obtaining the right size of the water heater unit for your home. Tankless water heater units are actually rated by the maximum rise in temperature possible at a specific flow rate. In order to make sure that your tankless water heater unit will deliver hot water adequately, first determine the flow rate and the rise in temperature that you will need. After that, find out the suitable flow rate by means of listing each and every hot water outlet that is to be connected to the water heater and then add up their flow rates in gallons per minute. Ensure that the tankless water heater unit that you will buy can really deliver the typical temperature rise of 39 degrees Celsius or 70 degrees Fahrenheit at the preferred flow rate.
2. In order to prevent the water from overheating, tankless water heaters need a minimum flow of water through the heating system. This ranges from a half-gallon per minute up to two gallons per minute. If this requirement is not met, then you would most likely be forced to, for instance, wash dishes and if you would like to keep the hot water going, the flow of the water must be higher as well. To solve this problem, ensure that the flow rates at outlets you will connect to the water heater unit exceeds its minimum requirements.
3. If you are worried about wasting water, select a point-of-use model. There are lots of tankless water heater users who strongly believe that they tend to waste a great deal of water while waiting for it to turn warm/hot. The wasting of water is actually caused by two factors:
The first cause is the number of feet of plumbing (which is particularly the cold water) between the tap and the water heater. Due to this, whole-home tankless water heater systems do not provide a water-saving advantage over the traditional tank-type water heater systems. Nonetheless, tankless water heater systems can actually be installed in a configuration that is point-of-use, with which a smaller, dedicated water heater is situated very near to the water outlet.
The of wasting water on the use of the tankless water heater is the amount of time that is needed for the water heater to generate warm/hot water. If you use a traditional tank-type water heater unit that already has hot water stored in the tank, that time is a definite zero. Thus, the tankless water heater units are deemed to be at a disadvantage at this point.
4. Properly ventilate the tankless water heater unit’s exhaust. Of course, the tighter a building is, the easier it is to produce differentials in pressure. This result to a combustion appliance to backdraft (exhaust gases such as carbon monoxide are brought inside the home). Whether you have a tankless water heater or a tank-type one, if you have a gas-fired water heater unit, it must be sealed-combustion and direct-vent in order to prevent dangerous gases like carbon monoxide from leaking into the living space.
5. Even if tankless water heaters are also called instantaneous water heaters, do not be fooled. This simply means that the cool water inevitably flows throughout the unit long before the sensors sense it and commence the water heating.
The best ways to solve this “weakness” is by preheating and buffering. Solar water heater units increase the water temperature that enters the tankless water heater, thus minimizing the time to heat the water. Also, a 5 to 10-gallon tank-type water heater unit that is plumbed right out of the tankless water heater dilutes the cool water with hot water in the tank, which makes the delay less evident. This solution may have a lesser up-front cost, but it is actually less energy-efficient.
6. Hire a plumber who is experienced in the installation of tankless water heater units. Even if a tankless water heater unit is smaller than the traditional one, it is rather complicated to install, due to the fact that it needs proper configuration and the sizing of the unit to fit into the house’s plumbing, electric or gas supply, as well as ventilation requirements. Many manufacturers will refer you to their local plumbing contractors if ever you need one. You can also ask the hardware store or the plumbing supply house where you have bought your tankless water heater unit to give you contact numbers of at least three experienced, factory-trained plumbing contractors, and you get to decide which of them you will hire once you get bids from all of them.
The tips mentioned above are some ways on how you can achieve optimal performance from your tankless water heater unit. There may be disadvantages to using tankless water heaters, but if you consider many factors, surely you will agree that the tankless units can cater efficiently for those who typically need hot water on demand.
In today’s time, the space in every home matters a lot. Many people live in homes that have small room spaces and they admit that they have trouble fitting every piece of furniture or item into any room. Devices such as water heaters and other appliances are very significant as they help make our lives easier and much more comfortable at home, but if you want to incorporate every item into your cramped up house, you need to think of a clever way.
Are you one of those homeowners or renters (who live in an apartment) who have a hard time trying to cope up with small room spaces and would like to just make everything fit? Fortunately, nowadays, there are many appliances that have undergone improvements wherein they are made even smaller and more compact, and they still turn out to perform much better than their earlier versions. One of these items is the water heater.
Before, the only water heater available is the tank-type or storage-tank water heater. However, it is a big disadvantage for you if you have a small house and a traditional storage-tank water heater. You will not have any space left to use as this type of water heater will typically take up all the space in any room of your small house. Thanks to innovation, those who have small houses or those who are residing in small apartments can now enjoy the benefits of hot water (without having to put up with a bulky tank-type water heater) with the use of tankless water heaters.
Tankless water heaters are different from tank-type water heaters because they only heat and provide water when needed. They can also help you save money because they do not generate standby energy losses that are common with storage water heaters. Below is a simple guide to tankless water heaters – how they work, how to choose the right one for you, and how to take care of it.
Tankless Water Heaters – How They Work
Tankless water heaters heat up water instantly without the presence of a storage tank. If a hot water faucet is turned on, the cold water passes through a pipe into the water heater unit. In there, either an electric element or a gas burner heats up the water. With this simple method, tankless water heaters can deliver a constant supply of hot water. You never have to wait for a storage tank to fill up with enough hot water so that you can enjoy using it. However, you need to know that a tankless water heater’s output actually limits the flow rate.
Generally, a tankless water heater unit can deliver hot water at a rate of 2 to 5 gallons (or 7.6 to 15.2 liters) per minute. Gas-fired tankless water heater units generate higher flow rates than their electric counterparts. However, there are times that even the biggest, gas-fired unit cannot give out enough hot water for simultaneous and numerous demands in huge households. For instance, if you take a shower and then another person uses the dishwasher at the same time, it may stretch a tankless water heater unit to its limit. In order to solve this problem, you can install and use two or more tankless water heater units, connected in parallel to let you use hot water simultaneously in different parts of the house. You can also opt to install a dedicated tankless water heater unit to appliances that really use up a lot of hot water at a time, such as a dishwasher or a clothes washer.
Tankless Water Heaters – How to Choose the Right One For You
Before you buy a tankless water heater unit, you need to consider the following factors:
Size – in order for you to have enough hot water at home and at the same time maximize its efficiency, you need to have a properly-sized tankless water heater unit. Ask a professional or someone who knows a lot about tankless water heaters to help you determine which water heater size is the best for your home.
Fuel Type and Availability – when choosing a tankless water heater unit, you have to think of the fuel type you will use as well as its availability and price. Fuel types include electricity, geothermal energy, fuel oil, propane, natural gas and solar energy.
Energy Efficiency – the easiest way how to determine if the water heater unit is energy efficient is to simply look for the Energy Star label. Energy Star-labeled products such as in water heaters can significantly reduce high energy bills, therefore saving you money each time. Did you know that a typical family that uses Energy Star qualified tankless water heaters actually saves more than $100 annually?
Tankless Water Heaters – How to Take Care Of It
When people buy a water heater, they tend to forget about it once it is properly installed in their homes. Most water heaters work perfectly well for the first few years, but without proper maintenance, they will easily break down.
Proper installation and maintenance of your tankless water heater is crucial if you want to optimize its energy efficiency.
How to install a tankless water heater unit actually depends on a lot of factors. Such factors include fuel type, local building code requirements, the weather and last but not least, safety measures, especially those concerning the combustion of gas-fired water heater units. Thus, it is wise to hire a qualified plumbing and heating contractor to help you install your tankless water heater unit.
If you are confident in installing the tankless water heater unit by yourself, you have to at least first talk to the manufacturer. Manufacturers typically possess the necessary instruction and installation manuals. Additionally, call your town or city for more information about getting a permit, if it is necessary, and also about local water heater installation codes. Regular water heater maintenance can truly extend the lifespan of your water heater unit and it can also reduce the loss of efficiency. Do not overlook the manual for specific maintenance instructions and recommendations.
The Advantages and Disadvantages of Using Tankless Water Heaters
These days, energy-efficient on-demand water heaters are becoming more and more popular as they are now the better alternative to using storage tank water heaters. However, with every technology, there are advantages as well as disadvantages to it.
Tankless water heaters are also known as instantaneous water heaters or on-demand water heaters because they are able to provide hot water when needed. Unlike traditional storage-tank water heaters which require a tank where preheated water is stored, tankless water heaters only heat water when the tap is turned on. This is not only energy-efficient, but it also eliminates the need for a storage tank as well as the room where the tank is stored.
On-demand water heaters generate their heat either through electricity or through gas or propane. Gas models are found to be more efficient, roughly 22 percent more efficient than electric models though. Translating this efficiency will result in around 75 dollar savings on annual utility bills. This is, of course, if the home uses around 77 gallons of heated water on a daily basis.
There are basically two types of tankless water heaters – Point of Use and Whole House Use.
Point of Use – these are small water heating systems that heat only around a one-tap location. For example, you can have one installed for use on the shower, and have another one installed for use on the kitchen sink. Their small form factor enables them to be hidden under the kitchen sink or hung on the wall of the shower room.
Whole House Use – these are larger water heating systems that are designed to provide enough heated water for an entire house. These systems are typically or ideally situated in the utility room or garage for that matter. Whole House Use water heaters have a longer lag time as compared to Point of Use water heaters. Lag time translates to the time the hot water travels from the heating system to the faucet based on its distance. Longer distances mean longer lag times.
The Advantage of a Tankless Water Heating System:
Continuous Hot Water – since tankless water heaters are not limited by the capacity of the tank, they are able to provide endless amounts of hot water. This is possible as water is heated as it passes through the heating coils of the water heater. It can be said that a tankless water heater will never run out of heated water.
Size – tankless water heaters have a smaller form factor as compared to other water heating equipments. Their smaller size allows them to be hung on walls or underneath sinks. Their size not only allows them to occupy lesser space, but because of this size, they can be tucked away at areas where they practically do not occupy any space in the home.
Efficiency – these tankless heating systems are very cost-effective as they only use energy when there is a need for heated water. This dramatically reduces the cost of utility bills as it does not need to reheat water at a preset temperature when it is not in use as compared to storage tank water heaters.
Ease of Installation – these water heating systems are very easy to install as compared to when using a tank system. The utility guy just needs to attach it in between the water supply and the tap along with a few electrical wirings and it is done. The best part about them is that you do not need to allot a significant amount of space like tank systems do.
Less Risk to Water Damage – since these water heating systems operate without a tank, you do not have to worry about storage tank deterioration or fitting failure which will result in leaking.
Life Expectancy – storage tank water heating system, with enough care and maintenance, will have a life expectancy of around 12 years. Tankless systems, on the other hand, will have around 20 years of life expectancy, something which is substantially more than a storage tank system.
The Disadvantage of Using a Tankless Water Heating System:
Lag Time – this is perhaps the most common complaint that people have over on-demand water heaters. Starting up the tap or faucet does not immediately start with heated water running and you need to wait for several seconds to maybe a minute until the desired temperature is met. Since this is often the case, owners of on-demand systems should not expect heated water when they turn on their faucets or showers.
Irregular Use – the repeated on and off use will have an interval of hot and cold water. Although this does not pose a problem during continuous usage or pose as a damaging effect to the unit, there are individuals who prefer to have a steady water temperature in their faucet whether they frequently turn it on and off.
Unit Cost – the actual cost of an on-demand water heater unit far more than you’ll pay for a regular storage-tank water heater. This is mostly because of the technology involved with on-demand units as they are equipped with electronics and a ventilating system.
Sources of Heat – storage tank systems are able to utilize solar energy as a method of heating or pre-heating of water. They can also utilize geothermal, electricity, and natural gas as a means of energy to generate the heat needed to make hot water. Non-tank systems are only able to use electricity, gas, and propane as a means of energy.
Just like every type of system, there are always advantages and disadvantages, and this does not exclude the tankless water heating system. If you are considering replacing your water heating system, you must first review whether the change to such a system will be beneficial for you, or if the disadvantage outweighs its advantages. If you are switching to a tankless system because you want to save on utility bills, then you’re making a good choice.
All You Need to Know about Tank Water heaters
Tank water heaters, also known as stand-alone, storage or conventional water heaters are very much popular in many countries, especially in North America. If you are one of those who own a condo or a house, then you are most likely renting one of the 40 to 50 gallons of tank water heaters for a monthly fee. In case your condo or house does not have a tank water heater, then you can just buy one.
If you are currently planning to purchase a new water heater or would like to replace your existing tank water heater unit, then it is highly recommended that you need to do some research in order to determine whether you would get a conventional tank water heater or a tankless water heater. You also need to be aware what size of the tank water heater you need if the 50-gallon tank size unit will suffice; how to correctly remove the old tank water heater unit; how to properly conduct maintenance measures on the tank water heater unit such as flushing, draining, and so on.
What You Need to Know About Tank Water Heaters
Below are the types of tank water heaters based on their fuel source:
Gas tank water heaters – utilize natural gas or propane (LP).
Electric tank water heaters – utilize electricity.
Solar tank water heaters – utilize solar energy.
Oil-fired tank water heaters – utilize oil.
Below is a list of the popular manufacturers/brands of HVAC equipment, including tank water heaters, commonly found in North America:
If you are looking for a tank water heater for your home or condo, then your best bet would be a gas-powered tank water heater unit. You can also choose from other options such as oil-fired burners or electric water heaters. If you are one of those who support green technology and renewable energy, then solar tank water heaters can be a nice option for you as well.
As a matter of fact, it really does not matter which fuel type you would select. You only have to always keep in mind that tank water heater units have cylindrical tanks wherein the hot water is continuously kept hot inside as well as they need a special technical room such as a garage or closet.
Tank water heaters typically range from 20 to 100 gallons; the most popular is the 40, 50, 60 and 80-gallon tanks because they can produce enough hot water for a standard size of 4 to 6 family members. Smaller-sized tank water heaters can only be a few gallons such as the electric tank water heater Ariston from Bosch, and are primarily meant for point-of-use applications.
When you are trying to replace a tank water heater unit, you need to use the nameplate that is found on the water heater to gather the necessary information, including the insulation R-value, the pressure rating of the tank, capacity, wattage and voltage of the electric heating element or BTU for a gas tank water heater unit.
Take note that the yellow tag is the energy guide label which shows the annual costs of your tank water heater unit.
How a Tank Water Heater Works
Tank water heaters have a rather simple design. Their main cylindrical portion is a storage tank, where the hot water is stored and drawn when the bath, shower, dishwashing or washing machine is turned on. In countries of North America, tank water heater units are typically standing on the floor in a vertical position.
A tank water heater works when cold water enters the bottom of the storage tank through the dip tube, and when after the cold water is heated by the electric heating elements or by the burner, the hot water then rises to the top of the tank. Whenever you are using hot water, it is replaced with cold water which is at the bottom by means of the dip tube.
A standard tank water heater unit is designed in a very simple manner so to make it easy for troubleshooting. Also, the access panel at the front of the tank water heater unit is conveniently positioned so to make it very easy to replace any faulty part if needed.
What You Should Know When Choosing Your Ideal Tank Water Heater Unit
Below are some things that you need to know in order to correctly choose a tank water heater unit that is ideal for you and your home:
Choose the right tank size; however, do not choose an oversized tank water heater because it will only lead to energy cost increases. If you have trouble deciding which tank size is the right one for your home, do not hesitate to ask a plumber or HVAC technician for professional advice.
High-efficiency tank water heaters are more expensive, but they are actually worth it in the long run as they are of a higher-quality rating, have efficient energy consumption, and have better warranties.
The hot water delivery capability or the First Hour delivery is a combination of a tank capacity and its recovery rate, or simply put, it refers to how much hot water it can produce in one hour.
The efficiency of an electric tank water heater unit is measured by its rating watts loss or standby loss. The lower the standby loss, the better.
The efficiency of propane, gas and oil-fired tank water heaters is actually measured by an energy factor (EF). The higher the energy factor, the better.
Tips on How to Save Money from Your Tank Water Heater
Below are some things you might need to know if you would like to save money while using your tank water heater:
If in case you have a conventional tank water heater, you will certainly save in the long run if you replace it with an energy-efficient tank water heater unit.
If it is possible that you can have it in your area, you can consider using a solar tank water heater.
How do you check if your tank water heater is wasting energy? Just put your hand on the tank’s outside surface. If it feels warm, your unit needs to have better insulation. The standby heat loss will be significantly reduced if you install the insulation blanket or jacket and this will save you some money (similar to energy-efficient units with a thicker foam insulation). If you are going to buy a new tank water heater unit, select one with a higher insulation R-value.
There is actually a lot of heat and energy wasted if you wait for hot water to reach the tap. You will be able to significantly reduce energy loss if you insulate all of the pipes.
You are actually saving some money if you lower the temperature on the water heater thermostat by a few degrees. You will be reducing your fuel bill at about 1% when you lower the temperature on your thermostat by 1 degree for an 8-hour duration. The recommended temperature setting is between 120°F to 140°F.
In order to save money on your monthly bill, it is suggested that you buy a high-efficiency tank water heater unit because they can perform as much as 40% better than the conventional tank water heater units.
Take note that the average life expectancy of a tank water heater unit is about 13 years, and you can make it last much longer if you know how to properly take care of it.
Tank-type water heaters are very useful at home, and that is why it is a must that it works perfectly fine all the time. But what if you notice that your water heater unit seems to be bulging and leaking?
What can cause a water heater to bulge?
Bulging and leaking in water heaters are typically caused by an increase in the pressure of hot water that is inside the tank.
An excessive hot water pressure in the tank can lead to a bulging water heater and it can potentially deform the tank permanently. After this happens, problems will occur such as water heater leaks as well as the flue pipe and pipe fittings would be dislocated.
The common symptoms that you will notice on your water heater when there is an occurrence of excessive pressure are: when the topmost part of the water heater has cockeyed nipples, and the bottommost part of the head is reversed or bulged.
Tank-type water heaters are basically designed and thoroughly tested on maximum internal water pressures of about 300 psi, without any traces of distortion. If in case there is an appearance of deformation on your tank, such as the bulged bottom, chances are that your water heater was subjected to pressures of more than 300 psi. Generally, the maximum working pressure for which the water heater was designed is supposed to be approximately 150 psi.
When the water inside the water heater is cold, there should be only a static pressure of water on the tank, which is a result of the water weight. From the moment that you turn the water heater ON, the heat process begins, the temperature of the water will increase as well as the volume, and the pressure will only keep going up.
How to Prevent the Increase of Pressure in Water Heaters
If your tank-type water heating system is an open system, and if in case there are no obstructions that can reverse the flow, then the water pressure inside the tank will always be closed to the cold water supply. The hot water will tend to expand back into the cold water supply, and there will be no damage done to the plumbing system. In this situation, the chances for a bulging water heater are absolutely minimal.
If there are obstructions, such as in the checking valves, pressure-reducing valves, the shut-off valve, in the cold water line and there is a presence of water softeners, then the system becomes a closed system. In this situation, the heated water will cause pressure to increase quickly, until something ruptures or fails. This is the reason why the expansion tank is a must to use, in order to accept the additional pressure. If in case the expansion tank was not installed, then the hot water pressure may become too great which can cause bulging of the water heater unit or the tank may even rupture.
The correct size of the expansion tank must be used on each and every new water heater installation in order for it to maintain a consistent and safe working pressure. Do keep in mind that the warranty will be voided, so it will be at your expense if something undesirable happens to your water heater unit.
Water, a non-compressible liquid, expands when heated. For each 10°F increase in water temperature, the water expands at about 0.2%. As the temperature increases, the maximum designed water pressure can possibly exceed and therefore cause bulging to the water heater unit.
How to Test Hot Water Pressure inside a Water Heater Unit
One of the most common reasons why your tank-type water heater is leaking may be that there is pressure buildup or there is a significant drop-off inside of the water heater tank (bulging water heater). Below are some steps regarding a simple do-it-yourself project wherein the only tool that you will use is the pressure gauge. When your water heater leaks, it tends to create a puddle on the floor as there is a hole or crack in the tank, or there are dislocated plumbing connections or unions. The steps below will help you to check and how to properly test hot water pressure:
To get the pressure reading inside of the water heater tank, install a pressure gauge on the drain valve outlet and open drain valve.
Close the main shut-off valve that supplies the water heater. Ensure that all the hot water taps are turned off. When the water heater is running and because all the hot taps are closed, the pressure will then build up inside the tank. Run the water heater by means of turning the thermostat up until the main burner or the heating element comes on. Ensure that you constantly check the pressure gauge as the pressure in the tank will tend to increase rapidly.
When the hot water pressure begins to rise up, shut the water heater off by turning down the thermostat. Then, watch the pressure gauge to see if it holds the pressure or if it drops off significantly.
If there are no leaks occurring around the fittings when the pressure drops, that means the tank is leaking.
If the pressure inside the water heater does not rise up, either there is a hot water faucet open in the system or there is a crack or hole in the tank which does not allow the pressure to build up.
If the pressure holds up for a prolonged period of time of about 10 to 15 minutes, then that means the tank is not leaking.
The typical design of a water heater tank is simply having convex top heads and concave bottoms. Because of the excessive pressure inside the tank, the concave bottom may become flattened, or it may change to a convex or bulged shape. This is considered to be very dangerous on gas water heaters, where the movement of the bottom could result in the deformation of the head of the tank as they are directly connected by the rigid flue. This can cause further restriction of the products of combustion from venting through the flue passage and out the chimney.
By means of simply looking into the combustion chamber, you can check if there is any distortion occurring at the bottom of the tank. It is a must to replace bulging water heater tanks if they can no longer be fixed. As a matter of fact, tank-type water heaters with a bulging condition are actually not covered by warranty due to improper installation.
Are you recently looking for that perfect gas or electric water heater for your home? If you are serious enough in getting a gas or electric water heater unit that is of very good quality and is worth every penny you spend for it, then you need to know a few basics and facts about water heaters. In order to acquire an excellent water heater unit, you need to be familiar with some common terminologies about water heaters.
Flow rate refers to the maximum flow of hot water from all fixtures that might run at a peak time period.
When you are looking for a water heater that is the right size for your needs, it is recommended that you add up all the flow rates of all the hot-water fixtures and appliances that are present in your home.
Draw efficiency refers to the amount of hot water that is drawn from the tank-type water heater (available to the consumer), at a flow rate of 3 gallons per minute and prior to the outlet water temperature dropping to 25°F.
In simple terms, when you use a storage-type water heater for your water heating needs, about 70% of hot water of the tank’s volume may be drawn prior to the hot water diluting with the incoming cold water. If in case you are looking for a 50-gallon tank-type water heater, this heater will then deliver approximately 35 gallons of hot water (70%) – resulting in 50 gallons x 0.7 = 35 gallons.
Energy Factor (EF)
The energy factor (EF) is the one that shows the efficiency of a water heater unit. It combines the standby efficiency and the thermal efficiency of the water heater. A higher EF means that the water heater is more efficient and has lesser energy loss.
Low-range EF for gas-powered tank-type water heaters is typically between 0.53 and 0.62. The energy efficiency or energy factor will show you how much energy will be used and/or wasted in order to heat the water.
For instance, if the EF is 0.62, then it means that from every dollar that you spend on water heating, $0.62 is being used to heat the water, and the remaining $0.38 is wasted. The high-efficient water heater units are generally Energy Star compliant. The minimal EF for one gas-powered tank-type water heater to be Energy Star qualified is about 0.67.
Recovery rate or recovery efficiency refers to the amount of water that is heated to a set temperature per hour.
Gas-powered water heaters are considered to have a 75% recovery rate, meaning that 75% of the heat produced by the gas burner goes toward heating the water, while the remaining 25% is wasted.
Since electric-powered water heaters are equipped with immersion-type heating elements, 99% of heat is produced to heat the water, thus, their recovery rate is 99%.
In simpler terms, the recovery rate shows how many gallons of water, per hour, a water heater unit can raise while the temperature increases by 100°F. A particular water heater unit can be considered to have a faster recovery rate is it has more Watts or BTU than the other units.
Thermal Efficiency and BTU
BTU stands for British Thermal Unit, and it refers to the amount of heat needed to raise the temperature of 1 pound of water 1 degree Fahrenheit.
For instance, 8.25 BTU is needed in order to raise the temperature of 1 gallon of water 1 degree F. Nowadays, many modern homes require 20 BTUs per square foot. When comparing to electricity, 1 watt-hour gives about 3,413 BTUs.
The formula below is used to calculate the required BTUs:
Gallons x 8.25 x 1.0 x temperature rise = BTU
Sample Question: How much BTU is needed in order to heat 100 gallons of water to get 90°F hot water if the incoming water temperature is 50°F?
Solution: 100 gallons x 8.25 x (90°F – 50°F) = 33,000 BTUs
Input rating refers to the amount of fuel in BTUs that is consumed by the water heater unit in an hour.
To get an equivalent gas input in BTU, use the formula above and divide the result by 0.75 (44,000 BTUs with the above inputs).
To see what is the heating element wattage equivalent, multiply the above answer by 0.293 (9,669 W with the above inputs).
The inlet temperature refers to the temperature of the incoming water (or otherwise known as the cold inlet water) which is the cool water coming into the water heater. During the colder months, it is considered to be at 40°F; whereas in southern regions where it is warmer, it’s 50°F.
The peak period refers to the time when the highest demand and hot water draw are. In residential home water heating, the peak period typically occurs once or twice a day (before school or work, and in the evening).
The temperature rise refers to the difference in temperature between the incoming cold and outgoing hot water and is shown in C or F degrees.
For instance, if the hot water temperature at the faucet is 120°F, and the incoming cold water temperature is 50°F, then the temperature rise is 70°F.
First Hour Delivery (or First Hour Rating)
The First Hour Delivery (FHD) or First Hour Rating (FHR) is used to describe the performance capability of the water heater unit, or how much of hot water a fully heated water heater can deliver in its first hour of operation.
Remember that a water heater unit does not deliver all 100% of the hot water of a tank’s capacity, but only 70%. Thus, if you have a water heater with a tank size of:
30 gallons, then the available amount of hot water is essentially 21 gallons.
40 gallons (which is rated tank’s capacity), then 28 gallons are available for use.
50 gallons (which is the tank’s capacity), then 35 gallons are available for use.
80 gallons (which is the tank’s capacity), then 56 gallons are available for use.
You can easily calculate the First Hour Delivery by using the formula below:
(Tank Capacity) x 0.7 + (Recovery Rate) = FHD
For instance: 50 gallons Tank capacity x 0.7 + 36 Recovery rate = 71 gallons FHD
Glossary of Terms
Closed System – A system wherein water, when it is heated, will not expand (if the following elements are installed such as the back-flow valve, check valve, or some pressure-reducing valves).
Hard Water – incoming cold water that has a particular percentage of impurities such as calcium and other minerals, which can cause water to have a hard characteristic.
Heat Trap – is an element that restricts the loss of heat through the water connections to a tank.
Hydronic Heating – is the most pleasant form of central heating. It operates by re-circulating hot water, heated by a gas-fired boiler or water heater.
Standby Heat Loss – the heat that is lost from hot water, wherein most of it is through the surface of the tank-type water heater.
Pilot Light – a small flame that is used to ignite the gas in the main burner. The standing pilot burns all the time.
Scale – a buildup layer of lime, calcium or bicarbonates that are typically found at the bottom of a tank and internal elements that may prevent heat transfer.
Simultaneous Heating Operation – both heating elements in an electric-powered water heater operates at the same time.
Non-simultaneous Heating Operation – both heating elements in an electric-powered water heater are not designed to operate at the same time.
The basics and facts about water heaters are a simple yet useful guide when you are looking for a new water heater or you would like to do some DIY installation or troubleshooting. This will help you to understand better some of the basic terms and calculations used in water heaters, which will be tremendously useful and will help save you time and money should you decide to install or troubleshoot your water heater unit by yourself.